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IDF source: Female tank officers face ‘physical and mental difficulties’

The IDF will soon need to submit a response to an appeal demanding that it integrate female tank soldiers into the Armored Corps.

The appeal, submitted to the Supreme Court, follows a pilot run integrating female tank soldiers for the first time in Israel’s history.

A source in the Armored Corps spoke Saturday night about the mental and physical difficulties faced by female tank soldiers during their service, Ynet reported. These difficulties, revealed during the pilot program, contradict senior officials’ claims last year that the experiment had been successful.

The source in question claimed that the female tank soldiers participating in the pilot program had difficulties loading missiles into the tank in a significant number of instances, and showed “mental difficulties” during operational missions.

“A decision on the matter of whether or not to integrate female tank soldiers in future operations to protect Israel’s borders has not yet been made,” an IDF spokesperson said. “This issue will be settled in the future, based on the findings of the pilot program.”

The pilot, initiated under and supported by former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, came under fire from sources both in the IDF and out of it. Though the experiment was determined a success, the integration was frozen until a final decision is reached.

In September 2018, data received by Arutz Sheva showed that 46% of female combat officers failed their annual fitness exam.

In 2017, Arutz Sheva revealed an IDF document that painted a disturbing picture of the physiological prices paid by women in combat roles.

The document was written under the auspices of the chief of staff’s advisor on gender issues, and reveals that female combat soldiers have more health problems than their male counterparts: stress fractures, heat injuries, lower back pain and knee pain, anemia and urinary tract infections.

MERKAVASpecifications of models

Merkava

Mark I

Merkava

Mark II

Merkava

Mark III

Merkava

Mark IV

 

Primary armament 105 mm (4.1 in) M64 L71A

rifled tank gun

120 mm (4.7 in) MG251

smoothbore tank gun

120 mm (4.7 in) MG253

smoothbore tank gun

Ammunition capacity 53 to 62 rounds, 6 per container 46 rounds, 5 ready in a mechanical drum 48 rounds, 10 ready in an electrical drum
Secondary armament 2-3 × FN MAG58
1 × 60 mm externally-mounted Soltam mortar
12 smoke grenades launchers
2-3 × FN MAG58
1 × 60 mm internally-mounted Soltam mortar
12 smoke grenades launchers